Latest on the Shoutcast audio stream feed of GB3OA

The GB3OA repeater Shoutcast stream feeder equipment was moved from its temporary beta-testing home at the QTH of David G4TUP to its location by the GB3OA repeater last Saturday 18th January. If you’d been listening to GB3OA on-air and on the feed you would have noticed quite a bit of testing going on in the early afternoon.

Unfortunately, the envisaged position of the feed equipment was located next to trunking that held many cables with different types of data and voltages. When powered up it was found that the feed had a large amount of mains hum and data noise on the audio. Repositioning the equipment slightly within the available area reduced the interference, but still to an unacceptabel level.

It was therefore decided, in the interests of good audio quality, to return the equipment to David’s QTH and continue running it there. Fortunately, in about a months time, a new position will become available close to GB3OA which will be QRN-free.

For those that listen to the stream feed note that the player on shoutcast.com is only a very basic flash player, and suffers from not being able to handle any slight defect in the audio data stream. It’s therefore recommended that users go to The Stream page on the http://gb3oa.org.uk web site and use one of the players there…. Alternatively, those with iPads or iPhones can download the TuneIn app and use that.

David G4TUP.

GB3OA available via Internet streaming.

On test now is a stream feeder of the output of GB3OA to Shoutcast, which means that GB3OA can now be listened to worldwide by anyone!

On your smartphone browser, tablet or PC go to www.shoutcast.com and type GB3OA into the search bar. Then click the play icon at the bottom of the page and advance the volume control. If no QSO is in progress you’ll hear a chuffing sound, set the volume so that it can just be heard (note that iPads and iPhones need to use the TuneIn app as the Safari browser cannot play Shoutcast streams).

Listening to this feed you’ll hear all that GB3OA outputs, including IRLP and Echolink contacts. Note that there is a delay of up to one minute – this cannot be changed as Shoutcast has a 1MB buffer.

How has this all been created? The output of a Baofeng UV-3R HT is fed into a 50p-sized USB soundcard which is plugged into a Raspberry Pi. Two programs are used in the Pi – ALSAMIXER sets the outgoing audio level and DARKICE converts this audio into 32k bps MP3 audio and sends it to the Shoutcast server as data. With all this going on the load on the Pi CPU is only 13%.

Also, DARKICE has been compiled with the MP3 LAME encoder which processes the audio. Sometimes the audio via Shoutcast may sound better than direct through your own rig!

At present this is all on test, so expect short breaks in the feed…. and another feature to this is being worked on, watch out for this news soon!

For some, this link may work as a direct way of playing the stream provided the appropriate default programmes have been set up.

*Edit* Since this post, a separate page is now available giving further information on the stream and how to receive it. Click here to see it.

Best 73s, Philip G8XVV, David G4TUP and Mark G4EID.

Internet linking temporarily unavailable.

I hope everyone who used the internet linking facility on the repeater managed some good contacts yesterday!

Unfortunatley, due to some inappropriate operating practice this morning (Wednesday 1st January), the internet linking has temporarily been turned off. The reason for this is that we can (and have) been been blocked from many remote nodes when this poor practice occurs. Often these blocks remain permanent, preventing users who use the facility correctly from being able to enjoy the linking to its fullest extent.

The linking will be turned back on in due course, but not until some security measures have been installed on the node. These measures were in place before the node was rebuilt. I had rather hoped it wouldn’t be necessary to have to install them on the new PC. Sadly, that appears not to be the case.

Best regards, Mark, G4EID.